Yamaha XT500 Specs and Review Enduro Motorcycle 2022

Yamaha XT500 Specs and Review: The sport of adventure riding has a rich history that dates back even the 1920s. 

In the early days, there was no bike that could be considered to fit the market, and that included the Harley-Davidson J-series as well as Yamaha’s own DT-1. 

Yamaha XT500 Specs

It wasn’t until the late 1970s that the adventuring bikes were introduced and Yamaha was the first to lead the way by introducing its XT 500.

The Yamaha XT500 was an Enduro-styled motorcycle that set the stage for the next generation of XT bikes, such as the highly acclaimed The XT660Z Tenere. 

It was produced from 1975 to the years 1975 to 1989, the XT500 was a major force in all the Luxembourg Grand Prix, Paris-Abidjan-Nice, and Paris-Dakar rally events of the latter part of the 1970s.

The XT500 is known for its vintage design, free-revving capabilities, and its responsive power The Yamaha XT500 was the first motorbike to realize the concept of an all-purpose adventure vehicle. 

It’s not every rider’s best friend. However, the XT500 easily attracted the attention of 4-stroke lovers who adore big-bore singles. 

Learn the details about “the best dual-purpose street machine available” ( Cycle Magazine 1976) in this article.

Yamaha XT500 Specs and Review

The First Adventure Bike

Based on its purpose by function, the Yamaha XT500 classifies as a contemporary journey (or touring) motorcycle, which falls within the umbrella of motorcycles that range in class from multi-use Enduros up to street-legal cruisers. 

The sturdy frames, the large fuel tanks, and durable performance off-pavement and on-pavement are just a few of their features. 

They require only minimal maintenance and maintenance, can handle long-distance travel, and can sometimes allow two people to travel.

Many commuters and off-roaders see that they need to categorize the bike as unimportant. 

For those who are more discerning the ability to clearly define the XT500’s strengths is vital to understand how it played a role in shaping the segment. They are, in essence, the perfect example of hybrids. 

As the Ducati Testa Stretta, an adventure bike (even earlier in the day) includes four different types of motorcycle that include touring, sports urban, Enduro combined into one.

In terms of which model created the adventure market, There are numerous debates among the Yamaha XT 500 and the 1980 BMW R80 G/S. The R80 is the one to be blamed for introducing the segment into the market during the 1980s. 

The preference of the public towards BMW is not surprising since many people feel that the R80 was a step ahead of the XT500 in terms of style and quality. 

The”G/S” and Gelande/Strasse in the name of the bike is a reference to “terrain”/”road,” which aptly sums up the intent for the bike with two wheels.

Not Exactly Second-Fiddle

It’s not to suggest this, but the XT500 Yamaha isn’t more in terms of an action bike than the R80. It was, after all, the ultimate rally raider in its glory days. 

Another vehicle was a symbol of Yamaha’s “spirit of adventure” better in 1983 – the Yamaha Tenere XT600.

The definition of the category was not firmly established until the beginning of 2000. In addition, the attributes of the adventure bikes back then and present-day bikes have a difference between night and day and this holds true of the two brands, Yamaha and BMW as well as other brands. 

The bikes of the past were rough and had no appeal, and were more prone to failure and unsuitable to travel over long distances. They could be distinct from other bikes like that 1988 Honda Africa Twin XRV650 Adventure Sport.

However, current touring bikes are more diverse and feature a particular design and style that is more focused on an “adventure lifestyle” manufacturers use as a way to increase sales. 

These bikes are well-equipped and user-friendly to the level that could prevent the rider from fully enjoying the great outdoors. A smooth and easy ride isn’t a good thing. 

But, it will only be an adventure when it offers benefits to the culture and spiritual – lessons that only come from overcoming an obstacle on the way.

Based on this that is the case, it is clear that the Yamaha XT500 comes to mind as the ideal vehicle for enabling this kind of thrilling riding experience.

1976 – 1978 Yamaha XT500 Specs & Features (XT500C/D/E) Engine

The dirt bike comes alive thanks to an air-cooled, four-stroke SOHC engine that has a size of 87 x 85 millimeters (3.42 3.42 inches x 3.31 inches) bore-stroke ratio, 9.0:1 compression ratio, and a 2-valve-per-cylinder design that is also present on the Yamaha SR400 and SR500 bikes. 

Engine displacement is 499 cubic centimeters (30.45 in3) generated through a Mikuni VM34SS carburetor (32 millimeters for pre-production and models built-in 1977). The engine configuration of the XT500 lends to its 100 miles per hour (160.9 kilometers/h) maximum speed.

It has a maximum engine power at 30 (30.4 PS) to 40 BHP (40.6 PS) at 5,800 to 6,500 RPM. It also has a a maximum power of 39.2 Nm (4.0 kg-m, 28.9 ft-lb) @ 5,500 RPM.

(TIP TIP: The power mill could be exchanged for T500’s, a similar-sized Mikuni Flat Slide Pumper Carburetor Mikuni VMS36, round-slide 38mm Mikuni and Mikuni HS40. Some sellers offer these carburetors jetted which means less maintenance. )

Fuel & Lubrication

It comes with a forceful pressure (dry sump) Lubrication system that includes an oily foam filter (dry type rubber in the 1978 model). 

Tank capacity is poor with 8.8 L/2.32 US gallons but it boasts a remarkable efficiency of 59 milliliters per gallon (3.99 100 km).). 

The fuel capacity was increased up to 12. L/3.17 US gallons starting within 1978. XT500.

Based on the temperature of the ambient You can also opt for different viscosity grades as suggested within the instruction manual. 

If not, you can apply the SAE 10-W-30 (20W-40 for’78’) four-stroke oil a similar one for the best results. 

The manufacturer’s recommendation uses an SE API-certified motor oil (now outdated) SJ+ API grade oils that meet JASO T903 MA standards are suitable for use on the motorcycle.

Yamaha XT500


A five-speed continuous mesh return device (left-foot operated) and a wet multi-disc clutch assembly supply force to the floor. 

An O-ring chain with 520 links (with three links plus a joint) is used to control wheel spin and a recirculating ball bearing steer system enhances its performance and agility. 

The transmission manual of the vehicle comes with an eight-up, one-down shift sequence (1-N-2-3-4-5). 

This combination of powertrains makes low-speed wheelies simple to achieve by simply turning the accelerator on the Yamaha XT500. To help you, the standard gear ratios are listed below:

Secondary Reduction Ratio 2.625 (42/16)
Transmission Gear Ratio (1st) 2.357 (33/14)
Transmission Gear Ratio (2nd) 1.555 (28/18)
Transmission Gear Ratio (3rd) 1.190 (25/21)
Transmission Gear Ratio (4th) 0.916 (22/24)
Transmission Gear Ratio (5th) 0.777 (21/27)

Ignition & Lighting

The XT500 comes with the full transistorization of CDI (Capacitor Discharge Ignition) and is operated by pulling the compression release to place the ratchet type kick-starter to activate the impressive thumper. 

An A.C. Magneto with a rating of 14.5V +/- 0.5V 11A at 5,000 RPM is the charging system that powers the bike’s lighting and horn, as well as self-canceling flashers and any other electronic devices (if they have any). 

The ignition speed is 7deg BTDC at 1100 RPM (initial “F” mark) and 26.5deg BTDC @ 6,000 RPM (full advance).


The models from ’76 through ’81 required the 6-N6-3B-1 batteries (view the details on Amazon) which had dimensions 99 and 111 millimeters (3.88 2.25 2.25 4.38 4.38 inches; L W x H) and later versions featured a YB3L battery that measured 98 55 110 millimeters (3.88 x 2.25 3.88 x 2.25 4.38 inches, L W x H). 

The batteries can be swapped when one or the other is not available. The bike also requires the engine that had an NGK BP7ES Spark plug or Champion N-7Y, with a 0.7 between 0.7 and 0.8 millimeters (0.028 to 0.031 millimeter) gap.

The 12V kit and charging regulators are ideal for battery replacement. If you don’t want to use a charging regulator be sure that the batteries maintainer (view the product on Amazon) includes a charging voltage of 0.5 to 1 amp. 

If not, it could result in the burning of your battery because the current coming from the generator is much higher than the battery’s limit of charging (especially the case for AGM battery types). 

Remember to keep the battery’s battery charge in check during off-seasons to avoid it from becoming overheated.

It is possible to add a battery eliminator to the conversion kit, and then run the H4 reflectors with HS1 lights (instead of the stock) for the battery. 

However, I strongly recommend you do some further research to ensure that the luminosity of the lights on your bike is not diminished. 

Utilizing the H4 lights throughout is found to cause dimness in the lighting of the headlamp when bulbs other than H4 (for example brake lamps) are in use.

Tires & Brakes

Stock rubber is composed of tubes of 3.00-21 4PR tires (view on Amazon) at the front, and 4.00-18 4-PR tire on the rear (3.50-S19 4PR/4.00-S18 4PR, for’78) These tires contribute to the XT500’s supple steering and versatility on and off-road. 

They’re mounted on aluminum spokes measuring 1.85×21 and 1.85×18 both front and rear. 

A hydraulically-operated front single disc and a rear drum brake form the wheeler’s tire and wheel assembly. They ensure the bike has halting power.

Releases that are not available in Europe come with dual hydraulic discs as well as the same-sized tires with cast aluminum rims. 

The combination of these makes the XT500 suitable for roads that are beaten and cross-country. In all models, the recommended tire pressures for front tires will be 200kPa (2.04 kg/cm2 29 PSI) as well as 227.5 KPa (2.32 kg/cm2 33 PSI) in the rear. 

Many desert racers think the Maxxis M7304D Maxxcross desert Tires (view the full review on Amazon) as top replacement tires in case you are seeking recommendations.


In the half-duplex cradle are the front telescopic fork, as well as the rear swingarm, which is inverted sporting adjustable-rate Kayaba air/oil shocks that provide wheels with travels in the range of 6.2 inches (160 millimeters) as well as 7.6 inches (195 mm) and 7.6 inches (195 mm) respectively. 

The angle of the caster is 27.5deg and the trail length of 117 mm/4.6 inches (later it was increased up to 30.5deg casting angle, as well as 5.3 inches trail following the year 1978). The distance between axles (wheelbase) is 55.7 inches. 

The radius of turning is 2.2 millimeters (7.22 feet) and the clearance for the ground is 165 millimeters (6.5 inches) to 215 millimeters (8.4 inches).

While it may seem unnoticeable to some off-roaders. However, the bike’s ground clearance and front forks with long travel allowed it to absorb the roughest terrain when riding off-pavement. 

The frame was light and featured a low center of gravity, which resulted in greater stability and better handling. 

The reservoir for oil in the top tube with a large diameter was located inside the frame and functioned and was able to work with a dry sump.

Yamaha XT500 Specs


The overall dimensions of the vehicle are 85.4 inches by 36.6 inches x 44.9 inches (2,170 930 x 1,140 mm L x W and H) for Yamaha XT 500s that are sold throughout Northern Europe. 

There are minor variations in width, length, and height in the different countries, with non-European models being the narrowest and smallest model of dirt bikes. Seat height is optimal at 33 inches (830 millimeters). 

The weight of the bike is 159 kg (351 pounds) for bikes that are sold throughout Europe and 163 kg (359 pounds) for bikes that are sold outside of the region. 

Even though it’s a one-up bike XT500’s lengthy flat saddle can hold two people (including its driver) however it is not recommended to do this for urban roads.


Its Honda ATC 350X frame is constructed of high-tensile steel. The burden of which is offset by the other Yamaha XT500 parts made of lighter aluminum. 

The frame was not the best but it was nevertheless preferred and it was also a road-legal variant was the SR500. 

The use of down-tubes for the reservoir for the engine made it slim and eliminated the requirement of the oil cooler.

There were three model lines that were used for XT500 within the U.S. – the first one being XT500C/D. The second one was XT500E/F and the final one was XT500G/H. 

Each of these versions had distinct frames, which meant that the fuel tanks and seats cannot be interchangeable. The 1976 XT500 is particularly rare due to the exhaust pipe sticking out a bit. 

Particularly, the 1978 Yamaha XT500s from the U.S. received alloy tanks as well as Europe got two-tone tanks.

Yamaha XT500 Price

Listings for auctions of the 499cc Yamaha XT range between $1,543 to $14,500. The majority of resales are models from the year 1980 which are in excellent condition and are free of scratches and bumps. 

These XT500s that are not used and in mint condition are difficult (if not difficult) to find. If you find one, the lowest you can buy them cost is $8,000.

The table below summarizes the price lists, retail prices and trade-in values for the Yamaha XT500 models released in the U.S. and does not include models that were that were sold in Europe from 1989 onwards. (Source: Nada Guides):

Model Year & Trim List Price Retail/Trade-in
1976 Yamaha XT500C $1,408 $855 – $3,610
1977 Yamaha XT500D $1,428 $815 – $2,425
1978 Yamaha XT500E $1,548 $425 – $3,195
1979 Yamaha XT500F $1,898 $425 – $5,360
1980 Yamaha XT500G $1,898 $425 – $3,195
1981 Yamaha XT500H $1,998 $425 – $2,010
1982 Yamaha XT500J N/A $730 – $3,195

There are also a lot of models from the year 1981 that are available online, that have a large number of time and a high mileage. 

The majority of these used vintage wheelers require significant cosmetic adjustments as well as minor suspension and engine work. 

Experienced owners recommend doing an extensive clean-up of your carbs and changing all bearings and seals. In the worst-case scenario, you could require a full engine overhaul.

About Yamaha

Yamaha Motor Company Limited is famous for being one of the pioneers of the ATV business and for its world-class motorsports, personal watercraft, and other off-road motor vehicles. 

The company was initially a manufacturer of reed organs and pianos in 1887, eventually branched out into the production of motorcycles. After disbanding from the company that was musically inclined Yamaha, the company had achieved huge strides in various industries of automobiles and has not been back since. 

Nowadays, Yamaha continues to uphold and uphold its mission to “Kando” by creating life-enriching products and services.

Conclusion – Yamaha XT500 Review

With the help of classics such as those of Yamaha XT 500, adventure bikes have grown from 500cc single-seater bikes to sleek 1000-cc bikes that are on steroids. 

While Japanese legendary bikes still hold dominance in the world of motorcycling, Austrian firm KTM is fighting BMW as the standard for the market for adventure. 

This is good news for those who are fortunate enough to have a selection of bikes that have roads-biased or sport orientation or a better dirt riding capability available.

The issue is – “Are you going for a performance-oriented dirt machine capable of traveling around the world or a dependable city cruiser that can take you wherever you need to go?” The answer is dependent on the person riding and their use. 

For those who aren’t sure be aware that Yamaha XT500 has proven over time that it is both.

Is the Yamaha XT500 2 stroke?

Engine. The dirt bike comes alive with the help of an air-cooled four stroke SOHC engine sporting an 87×84 millimeter (3.42 3.31 inches) 3.31 inches) bore-stroke ratio, 9.0:1 compression ratio, and a 2-valve-per-cylinder design that is also present on the Yamaha SR400 as well as SR500 bikes.

What years did Yamaha make the XT500?

The Yamaha XT500 is a single-cylinder twin-valve enduro-adventure bike manufactured by Yamaha from 1975 until 1989… It has a common engine with the street-oriented SR500 along with its off-road counterpart, that is that of the Yamaha TT500. The entire assembly, including the chassis and transmission, was made in Japan.

How do you kick start an xt500?

Give it a few initial kicks (with choke, but without throttle) and then slowly kick and without the compression release until you notice your compression stroke (you’ll feel it). Then, slowly move past it by releasing the contraction and giving it a strong kick.

Are Yamaha motorcycles reliable?

Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, and Kawasaki are the most trusted brands. According to our study, over 11,000 Consumer Reports customers. The failure rate predictions for vehicles that are four years old vary between 11 and 15 percent for this category.

What is the most reliable Yamaha motorcycle?

The 5 Best Yamaha Bikes Ever Made
  • YZF-R7: One of the most influential bikes Yamaha ever made.
  • V-MAX: Took power to the next level.
  • XT-500: A perfect bike for adventuring.
  • YZR-500: Yamaha’s first champion bike.
  • YZF-1000 R1: One of Yamaha’s best selling bikes.

What is the most reliable motorcycle engine?

Honda is the most robust motorcycle engine. Except for the four-stroke motocross engines, be wary of CRF-R machines.

Is a Yamaha XT250 a good dirt bike?

In terms of performance, the XT250 is a great choice for those who want to enjoy unintimidating power, which is ideal for beginners or casual trail riders, or for those looking for something enjoyable and simple to take those short shopping trips on. It’s a budget-friendly motorbike, too.

How much is a brand new 250 Yamaha?

2021 Yamaha YZ250 * $7,499

2-STROKES. 1ST PLACE. Full-throttle adrenaline and pure performance are what you will get from this light and durable two-stroke motorbike.

Are Yamaha scooters reliable?

Honda and Yamaha are both Japanese manufacturers. Both brands are reliable, and there won’t be any problems with the quality of the product. Both are reliable. Although you won’t have as many features as other brands, the engine quality will be extremely high, and the duration of life of the engine will be impressive.

Are Yamaha motorcycle engines reliable?

As per Consumer Reports, Yamaha has ranked the most reliable bike with just 11% failure in the mechanical system, which is less than Honda (12 percent failing), Suzuki(12 % failure), Kawasaki(15 % failure), Victory(17 % failure) and Harley Davidson(26 percent Failure) on a 4-year-old bike without a service agreement.

Is Yamaha a reliable motorcycle?

Yamaha has been named the highest-scoring brand in terms of reliability and reliability, followed by Suzuki, Honda, and Kawasaki. A purchase from America isn’t a bad choice but with Victory beating out Harley-Davidson. The brands with the lowest reliability included Triumph, Ducati, BMW, and Can-Am.

Yamaha XT500 FAQ

1. Is the Yamaha XT500 2 stroke?

Engine. The dirt bike is brought to life with the help of an air-cooled 4 stroke SOHC engine that has an 87×84 millimeter (3.42 3.31 inches) 3.31 inches) bore-stroke ratio, 9.0:1 compression ratio, and a 2-valve-per-cylinder design that is also present within the Yamaha SR400 and SR500 bikes.

2. How much oil does an sr500 take?

The total is 2.4 Liters, 2.0l periodic oil change as well as 2.1l filters and oil.

Leave a Comment